Modal attention asymmetry in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Neuropsychology. 2001 Oct;15(4):535-43. doi: 10.1037//0894-4105.15.4.535.


This cross-sectional study examined modal attention asymmetries in patients with schizophrenia (n = 47) and bipolar disorder (n = 42), as contrasted to a matched-sample comparison group of normal participants (n = 89). A test of continuous auditory and visual attention was the primary measure. The data were analyzed from 2 experimental conditions: simple modal responses (auditory and visual) and modal switching responses (ipsimodal and cross-modal switching). In the simple modal condition, patients with schizophrenia demonstrated a visual over auditory asymmetry; patients with bipolar disorder showed no differences. In modal switching conditions, however, patients with bipolar disorder displayed a significant auditory over visual asymmetry. No main effect was detected between medications and attention functioning. Results are discussed in light of differentiating these 2 populations on the basis of modal specificity of attention functioning.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attention*
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reaction Time
  • Reference Values
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Speech Perception*